On Sunday Spain and England will play the next final of the Women’s World Cup at the Accor Stadium in Sydney (Australia). Before the most important game in the history of the Spanish women’s team starts, its rival, the English team, starts with a slight advantage. On the field of play, the strengths may be balanced, however, in terms of economic development and professionalization, the Women’s Super League sweeps the LigaF of Spain.
The English league has become an economic benchmark in both men’s and women’s football. Despite still far from the levels of the United States, the Women’s Super League is the model to follow for the rest of the European leagues. In the last two years he has obtained large commercial and television agreements. It has managed to increase revenue by around 60% in the 21-22 season compared to the previous season, according to Deloitte’s Annual Review of Football Finance report. In addition, the consultant shows that of the 10 richest women’s teams, 8 of them are English.
The Spanish women’s league cannot boast of the same. It is still below its main sports rivals in revenue. The LigaF is surpassed in income by women’s leagues such as those of France, England, Japan, China or the USA. The latest results presented by the CSD (Superior Sports Council) show that the LigaF lost losses in the 2021-2022 season of 20 million euros. He obtained 18.1 million income and 38.1 losses.
The victory in the European Championship last year was a confirmation of its expansion forecasts for English women’s football. In Spain, the Teleco Finetwork has shaken the foundations of the viability of the LigaF as the main sponsor, alleging that there is no signed contract and that therefore it is not going to make the corresponding payment for the season. Meanwhile, the Women’s Super League opened an agreement with the financial institution Barclays in 2022 for which it receives almost 12 million euros per season. If we make a comparison between both commercial agreements, the LigaF would receive 15 million in 3 years if it resolved its disputes with Finetwork, that is, practically the same as what the English league earns in a single season.
As for television rights, the English once again surpass the Spanish. Dazn built with the LigaF the payment of 35 million euros for the rights of the competition for 5 seasons. Added to the million that Mediapro promised to pay for broadcasting the game openly, the league thus receives a total of 8 million per year. In the case of the English women’s league, an agreement was reached with the BBC and Sky for television rights at a rate of 9 million euros per season for just 3 years.
In June 2021, the CSD unanimously declared that women’s football is considered professional in Spain, while in England it was broken in 2018. This has had a strong impact on how many tickets sold. In Spain, around 700 people attend the women’s league matches on average, in the case of the Women’s Super League the average number of spectators is 1,900 people, according to the English Football Association, who has established that by 2024 They must reach a figure close to 6,000 spectators.
In terms of salaries, there are also large differences in favor of the players in the English competition. According to the BBC, a player earns an average of about 55,000 euros per year in the United Kingdom, while in Spain the salary depends on the financial situation of the team. In the case of playing for one of the clubs with the highest income, this figure would be around 35,000 euros per year. There are exceptional cases in Spain, such as that of Alexia Putellas, who received close to 150,000 euros. Although she despite having been named the best player in the world for two consecutive years she earns less than many international stars, such as Leah Williamson, the captain of England, who earned 233,860 in total last season.
Despite all these differences, the women’s soccer team has the opportunity on Sunday to hit the table. It’s time for the players to get big commercial deals, and bigger television revenues in the future. In short, it is time for women’s football to be truly professionalized in Spain.